Tag Archives: Best Friend

The Drums – Down By The Water

1 Sep

Stylish new video from the band

Plus check out their performance at Reading and Leeds where they played a blinding set

The Drums ‘The Drums’ – Review

6 Jun

The Drums are probably the most hyped band of the last few years. I’m guilty myself of building them up to be huge – as far back as last October I predicted that 2010 would be a very good year for the band, then this January I called them the best new band on the planet. So a lot was riding on this album, and the good news is that it doesn’t disappoint.

There has been a distinct lack of excitement in rock n roll recently, and The Drums seem to be the band who will re-inject the genre with passion. We need Rock n roll to be thrilling and moving, we need rock n roll stars to stand out from the crowd and most of all we need a band to believe in, just as we always have done. The Drums are that band. They have the perfect ideals, they have the look, they have the sound and they have the songs to back up their claims. This is the most exciting and convincing debut since ‘Vampire Weekend’ and with any luck it will breath new life into a musical landscape that is currently as dry as the Sahara.

This is an album of contradictions and contrasts. The imagery and lyrics convey a deep love for Americana – surfing, baseball jackets, rolled up jeans etc, but the music suggests the band are Anglophiles. ‘I Need Fun In My Life’ sounds like an early Smiths demo, whilst the brilliant opener ‘Best Friend’ sounds like Joy Division on uppers. Their melodies are sunny and optimistic, their lyrics are downbeat and pessimistic. Even the happiest song on here (‘Lets go Surfing’) contains the word ‘hopeless’. So yes, the album’s very over the top and emotionally strained (one of the many reasons it reminds me of being 14, at that age where you discover the ups and downs of life and love, as well those great bands that will soundtrack your emotional tribulations).

The final and biggest contradiction is that the band say they are sick of acts writing songs for yesterday when they should be writing songs that speak for our generation. But the irony is that these songs are extremely retro and The Drums clearly have both eyes on the past. Many of these songs could be 1960’s artifacts, whilst the production is very 80’s. ‘Down By The Water’ has a classic Wall of Sound beat and all the tracks are loaded with the melodrama of The Shangri-las or Pet Sounds era Beach Boys.

It’s obvious that they have a clear formula for their music. Each of the twelve songs follows a similar path – verse, chorus, verse, chorus, bridge, chorus, repeat to fade. It’s the same formula every pop song has followed for the past fifty years, and in an age when bands are obsessed with destroying tradition, it’s actually refreshing to hear that sometimes the old ways are still the best. Any of these songs could be released as a single, and it’s possible that any could be a hit. ‘Book of Stories’ is the undisputed highlight with it’s typical chorus ‘I Thought My Life Would Get Easier, Instead It’s Getting Harder’ – this one lyric sums up the mood of the entire record. It’s basic stuff, that rarely diverts from this classic forumla, but it sounds great because there isn’t really anyone else making music like this right now – at least, not as well as The Drums.

For a while now indie bands have been obsessed with complicated and ‘meaningful’ songs that don’t connect with anyone whilst the mainstream chart acts perform like soulless robots on legal highs, too vacuous to connect on any level. The Drums may change that. This isn’t a classic album because it’s groundbreaking or innovative, and this isn’t a classic album because it’s deep or complex. This is (as the band admit) superficial and shallow music, because The Drums realize that meaning doesn’t have to be hidden in poetic lyrics and weird arrangements. The group wan’t you to relate to the music, they want to connect with a mass audience and they want everyone to enjoy it. But ‘The Drums’ isn’t shallow in the same way as a JLS album – there is real honesty and truth here that is easy for everyone to find. Most of all this is a classic album because it’s exactly what we need right now.

The really exciting thing is that this was recorded last year, after only a few months as a group and only a few shows. How will their next album sound? They are already a much better live group than the one that recorded ‘The Drums’, Johnathan has discovered a deep tone to his voice that is not present on any of these tracks, and Jacob seems to really have come along as a guitarist (kind of predictable as he’s only been playing a year!) Of course it may be that after this stunning debut they will fade into obscurity as so many of their heroes have, and I don’t suppose they would mind too much if that happened. They are a group for the here and now and being the intelligent people they are, I’m sure they realize that as well as anyone. On the other hand music as good as this will always be remembered and if this is their legacy then it is a fine one to leave.


The Drums ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ and album news

7 Apr

The Drums  premiered their new single ‘Forever and Ever Amen’ on Zane Lowe’s show last night. The single is the follow-up to ‘Best Friend’, ‘I Felt Stupid’ and ‘Lets Go Surfing’ and is taken from the forthcoming debut album ‘The Drums’. That is out on June 7th according to Amazon and a couple of album covers have appeared online – one being a cool picture of the band, the other being a shot of their logo on a stage. The record is rumoured to have 12 tracks with one or two having previously been released on the ‘Summertime’ ep. Hear the new single below at Zane’s blog


More Drums!

6 Mar

I feel like I’m going on about The Drums a lot – I just really like this band, and ‘Best Friend’ is probably my favourite song of the year so far. The band have just released the music video for the song and luckily it’s also great. Below that is a performance the band did for Radio 1 proving they are just as good live as on record.

The Drums – Best Friend

3 Feb

The Drums first album is easily the most anticipated debut of 2010. The as yet untitled record will be out in either May or June (depending on which source you believe) and it follows a single, ‘Best Friend’, which is out on April 5th. The track got it’s premiere on Zane Lowe’s show last night and it’s awesome. The song has served as a show opener on recent tours so fans will probably be aware of it. For those who haven’ heard it then expect something similar to the material on their ‘Summertime’ e.p with a more melancholic twist. It sounds so fresh and inspired, I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album. Listen below (for one week only)…